Consequences of fusion Sat/tps Channel on Algerian
TPS and us: black screen in November
Nothing will change in the immediate future in the encoding of the two bouquets and the Algerian crackers can continue their attempts to bore the system of locking in place. It will be necessary to wait November before a single new fashion of encoding is set up.
France, like the other European countries, will lay out at the end of this year only of one satellite bouquet of paying television, after the green light given on August 31 by the government to the fusion of CanalSat and TPS. The decision of the ministry for the Economy intervenes more than 8 months after the advertisement of the project of bringing together between the two enemy brothers which will give birth, in the fourth quarter 2006, with a group temporarily baptized Canal+ France. This new unit will be held, in the long term, to 65% by the Canal+ group (controlled by Vivendi Universal), 20% by Lagardere (aeronautics and media), 9,9% by TF1 and 5,1% by M6. According to current figures', it counts some 10 million subscribers and weighs more than three billion euros sales turnover. This fusion was in particular made necessary by the appearance of new concurrent televised offers: the operators of télécoms become distributors of television via the ADSL, terrestrial numerical television (TNT) goes up in power and the câblo-operators gather. To preserve competition, the Canal+ group and Vivendi promised to respect 59 “engagements”, for one duration maximum from 5 to 6 years, according to cases'. The Canal+ group ensured that this operation would be made “for the benefit consumers”. Canal+ and Vivendi “gave a certain number of guarantees in order to maintain a degree sufficient of competition” for the purchase of cinematographic and sporting rights, according to the ministry for the Economy. Canal+ is committed “facilitating the access of the operators of television and video to the request” to the cinematographic and sporting rights. For that, the duration of the future agreements, made by Canal+ with the American studios, is limited to three years, the competitors will have “a nondiscriminatory access” to the catalogue of StudioCanal (the company of production of Channel) and the group gives up requesting offers coupled for various categories of cinematographic or sporting rights. Another shutter of these “engagements”, Canal+ places at the disposal of its competitors (distributors of offers of paying television) “several chains of quality”. They are seven: TPS Star (the chain high-speed motorboat of bouquet TPS), CinéStar, CinéCulte and CinéToile (3 chains with set of themes cinema of bouquet TPS), Piwi and Teletoon (2 chains youth of TPS) and Sport+, the only one of these chains published by Canal+. In addition, the competitors of Canal+ France will be able to incorporate in their platform the chains TF1 and M6. Canal+ also promises to allow the independent officially agreed chains, in French language, to be taken again within the satellite offers of the new entity. “The current proportion” of these chains independent (without bond with Canal+, Lagardere, TF1 or M6) in the offers of the new group “will at least be preserved”. Lastly, side financing of the cinema (Canal+ is one of the principal backers of the French cinema), the group estimates that fusion “will contribute to promote the diversity of the French and European cinematographic production”, via in particular a policy of “rich and diversified” acquisition. The sector of the cinema fears indeed that a single counter “TPS-Canal+” is less generous than are it, separately, these two groups. To conceal the concerns caused in the mediums of the cinema and the operators of telephony, Canal Plus posted the list of the 59 commitments entered into, with its head office Vivendi, and which aim at preserving competition. The guarantees given by the group Canal Plus and Vivendi concern, in particular the cinematographic and sporting rights and the provision near the competitors of several chains of the future bouquet, of which M6 and TF1. Side of the cinema, for “recent American films”, the Canal+ group is committed limiting to three years, near the studios, the duration of the overall contracts, new or renewed. Canal+ is also committed “not acquiring” rights of exploitation in “pay per view” (PPV, payment with the meeting) or in video to request (VOD), of exclusiveness, for the contracts to come. For the contracts in progress, Canal+ will carry out “negotiations in good faith” to exploit these rights on a nonexclusive basis. For recent French films, Canal+ promises not to conclude or renew contracts frameworks with French producers. Just as for foreign films, Canal+ promises to carry out negotiations not to exploit the rights in PPV or VOD of exclusiveness. For films belonging to the catalogue of Studio Channel, the company property of Canal+, the group begins to yield the rights of exploitation PPV and VOD of films to “any service which will make the request of it”, under normal conditions of market. For the American series, the group will negotiate the rights for each window of diffusion for 12 months to the maximum, that is to say 36 months for three windows (which correspond to three years). For the sporting rights, Canal+ will limit the duration of the contracts to three years. If these rights are sold for one higher duration, Canal+ will make it possible to the holders of the rights to terminate the contract without penalties, after three years. For the rights relating to sporting events taking place all both or four years (cuts and championships of the world, Olympic Games…), Canal+ promises not to formulate offers for several editions of the event, if the editor accepts it. Another shutter of engagements: the provision of certain chains of the bouquet near the competitors. The Canal+ group begins to distribute the Canal+ service numerically (that is to say Canal+, Canal+ Cinéma, Canal+ Sport and Canal+ Décalé) to the concurrent platforms (cable, ADSL and TNT) which would make the request of it, under transparent conditions. All the distributors, except the TNT and the câblo-operators, will have access to TPS Star, the chain high-speed motorboat of TPS, three chains cinema and two chains youth of TPS, a chain sport (Sport+). TPS Star will continue to propose at least 100 films of the first exclusiveness, and contents of quality as regards sport are also guaranteed. Canal+ guarantees also the resumption of a minimal proportion of officially agreed chains independent by the higher Council of audio-visual, calculated according to the current situation.
Concerning the migration towards only one satellite position (CanalSat and TPS are diffused starting from two different satellites), the Canal+ group promises not to impose to the subscribers the cost of this transfer. A single system of encoding will be set up only when fusion is completed at the end of next November, ensured a spokesman of Channel + questioned by Liberté. The two companies will start to exchange the data and in one will know a little more about the offers and the technical accesses, added this spokesman by stressing that as regards encoding, “it will be what there is the best”. Opinion with the crackers!